Area youth, hunting in Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Lincoln, Price and Iron counties, ages 10-17, are eligible to enter the Northwoods Youth Deer Hunt Challenge (NYDHC). Youth must also be a full-time resident of Vilas, Oneida or Iron County. Youth must possess a Hunter Education certificate and have been issued a valid state license by the DNR for the appropriate season category.
This year the printable entry forms are available online, or can be picked up at Kurt’s Island Sports Shop, North Country Taxidermy or at The Lakeland Times business office, filled out and dropped off at The Lakeland Times. Emailed photos should be properly labeled and sent to: hholmes@ within the contest rules period. 
More than one deer may be entered by any youth, however, only one Challenge Award will be awarded per person. 
Season categories are crossbow, archery, with early and late combined, and gun, with early, late and regular seasons combined. Muzzleloader hunt is now combined with the gun hunt. Any youth hunting in any category this year should fill out an entry form. Each line of the form must be completed in order to be eligible for prizes at the NYDHC banquet. The date of the banquet is yet to be determined. 
At the NYDHC banquet, the top three scoring deer from each category will receive special recognition. An award will also be given to the top scoring Mentored Hunt hunter (ages 10-11). All youth who attend the banquet, regardless of whether or not they harvested an animal, will be eligible for random door prizes. Youth must be present to win a Challenge door prize.
Any antlered deer wishing to be considered for a NYDHC award must be brought to one of the official measuring locations in the area. Those locations are North Country Taxidermy in Hazelhurst, Kurt’s Island Sports and The Lakeland Times, both in Minocqua. 
All deer must be registered within 10 days (240 hours) of being registered with the Department of Natural Resources. For instance, if a deer was registered with the DNR at 3 p.m. on the day it was shot, the entry form must be in before 3 p.m. on the 10th day. Entrants harvesting a deer from Dec. 6-15 must have all of their forms submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 15. No exceptions will be made to this rule. 
No entries will be taken after that time, and that is also the deadline for registering for the banquet. Youth who do not harvest an animal can still register to come to the banquet and be eligible to win prizes there. 
All photos of youth and deer with should submitted to The Lakeland Times by emailing Each photo must include the child’s full name and information about the deer. Each youth photo containing all of the pertinent information will be printed in the paper. Several youth will also be chosen for full stories about their hunting experience this year. 
Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at